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Expert Witness: Distracted Driving and its Effect on Liability

Distracted driving often leads to horrific accidents and untold damage on the highway or roadways during traffic and when there is only a single other person driving. The consequences of letting something distract the driver are often felt significantly when someone is in the hospital or dead on the side of the road.

The problem with distracted driving and proving liability is that the collision may require the services of an expert that has the ability to reconstruct the accident. These professionals are hard pressed into finding certain details or understanding what happened if various details are left out when witnesses supply their statements. However, with time and energy, it is possible to find the necessary data to piece together the incident so that liability and damages are fully understood from the wreck. This lets the expert explain to the courtroom how the plaintiff should receive compensation for the fault of the other driver based on distractions that ended in the collision.

What Is Distracted Driving?

While the name usually explains the usual details of what distracted driving is, the details are often more confusing. Anything that could cause a
driver to lose focus on the road and his or her surroundings is distracted driving. This may include a passenger talking to him or her, items falling from the visors above and even the radio. Cellphones are one of the most significant distractions that could lead to accidents on the road. However, weather, health conditions, alcohol or drug consumption and sleepy or bored moods and states could result in a collision. These effects are catastrophic when the person behind the wheel is driving a commercial or diesel truck.

Effects of Mental Distractions

Mental, cognitive and perceptive distractions are all part of the same end result in many situations. The person behind the wheel finds something that distracts him or her for a short amount of time. That is all it takes to lose control of the car. A wreck with another vehicle or an object on the road causes injury and damage. The usual amount of three to six seconds is the minimum necessary for a person to collide with a vehicle. The injuries resultant from the crash could harm others or lead to death. The field of vision obstructed in various manners often takes several seconds to refocus on the road and the other vehicles in the driver’s path.

When a person faces possible collision, his or her response time varies depending on how much he or she was not observing the road. This cognitive and mental distraction changes the perception of the driver. He or she may not break in time to avoid colliding with another car or object on the road. The faster he or she is driving, the more time needed to stop. Experts hired for these cases understand these factors better than most. This enables them to present testimony based on fact and proven test methods. Then, the judge or jury may deliberate with this knowledge. The chances of this information helping the claim increase significantly when the evidence speaks for itself.

Consequences of Distracted Driving

One of the primary reasons an expert witness’ hire is important is because he or she is able to explain what happens when a distracted driver causes an incident. The speeds, the angle and any action taken to mitigate damage may all increase or promote further negative impact to others or the roadway. The response time necessary to brake could cut seconds it takes based on how distracted he or she was. By then, it may be too late to stop a wreck. However, the driver may decrease the damage caused by angling the car in another manner.

While cognitive and perception distractions are normal, the driver may face health conditions that cause him or her to nod off while behind the wheel. Others may have internal issues such as heart palpitations. Some that take prescribed medication may have side-effects affect his or her trip. Then, the consequences may increase based on how much these factors directly affect the driver. It is crucial to decrease as many of these elements as possible when driving.

The Expert’s Testimony with Distracted Drivers

The incidents where a person sustains injury may require the services and testimony of an expert witness. This professional explains the situation and all elements that could increase the chances of damage. Then, he or she needs to detail why and how much compensation is necessary for recovery.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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